Two Closing Assignments:
Poetic Profile, Discipline Report
November 23, 2008
Greetings, interns, and best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving. Some of you are already on break (Fayetteville and Bentonville), so savor the moment and enjoy the week off.
Keep the Momentum Going
for our Post and Ponder Threads.
As discussed in class, your last two assignments begin here on Planet Gnosis. But before we outline them, I remind you to finish strong with your commentary for the Post and Ponder threads we launched back in September. Two more responses are due, so take a look at what your classmates have written so you can continue a thread or add a suggestion.
Your writing for Post and Ponder gets better and more incisive with each passing week. Together you are creating a mature and reasoned document about your classroom experiences. I'm very proud of your work in this most interesting and useful forum. Remember, too, that you can exceed the assigned number of posts as you pursue the spirit of sharing and communication.
Create a Poetic Profile
to Illuminate Your Students.
The second bio poem assignment has a new name, Poetic Profile. It helps us as teachers address the vital question, "Why is it important to know who our students are?" When we know the backgrounds and experiences of our students, we can plan lessons that engage them. We tailor our content to their interests and design activities that connect to their learning styles and multiple intelligences. When students have lessons that relate to their reality and are relevant to their lives, unruly classroom behavior becomes a non-issue. In completing your assignment, the Poetic Profile, you will tell your readers about your students: who they are, what they are like, and who they want to become.
You have the freedom to compose a Poetic Profile poem using the sonnet form with octave and sestet — or not. You may choose to summarize and illuminate your students as a composite group, or you may write about students in one special class. The poem can also represent students from your last rotation.
NOTE: You are encouraged to write a title for your profile. It should be short enough to fit on one line.
Kelly Riley's Poetic Profile, displayed below, demonstrates a great way to accomplish the assignment with skill and imagination. Her creative set of haikus focuses on her students at the end of her first rotation. She acknowledges their contributions to her growth as a teacher. Kelly's work is an excellent expression of the creative possibilities of this assignment, which is limited only by your imagination.
Write a Formal Report
about a Method of Discipline.
Your final assignment is to write a Discipline Report. You will choose one method of discipline to investigate for a three-to-five page paper. You should include a reference page. Cite at least five sources: two of your choice and three from scholarly, peer-reviewed journals. You may also use books and Internet sources. Suggested authorities include Marzano, Glasser, F. Jones, and Wong. Some of you attended professional development on classroom management techniques during the first rotation. I encourage you to incorporate sources from those seminars into your assignment. Remember to connect the paper to your progress as an emerging professional.
Have a great Thanksgiving break. End of semester is just around the corner.
Freddie A. Bowles
Assistant Professor of Foreign Language Education
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
University of Arkansas
When I first began this project, I set out to write a series of haikus that capture, in some way, the unique personalities of my students. Like the students themselves, the poems refused to adhere to conventional form. With these poems, I wanted to portray some of the heartbreaking challenges and amazing triumphs that these young people are presently encountering in their lives. After writing these poems and reading them together, I believe I have gained a new understanding of how profoundly my students have affected my life and shaped who I am today and who I will become as a teacher.
I owe these students a great deal, for they have taught me so many lessons — lessons I could never have learned from a textbook or from sitting in a classroom as a student. Each of these students has caused my heart to swell and break and swell anew, sometimes in the course of a minute. They have made me laugh and they have made me cry. They have offered me both support and encouragement and have often been the sole reason I have been able to continue on with the M.A.T. program.
Ms. Riley's 2nd Period: The Poetry Unit
The Music of Gwendolyn Brooks
Head and limbs wagging,
he unites body with beat.
His dance brings poetry to life.
She’s been expelled.
Indecency on the school bus.
I hold drafts of her songs in my hand.
He mines the shadows of Seuss,
unearths the hilarity of Plath,
and coaxes us all to think deep.
Low Blood Sugar
She needs the school nurse again.
Diabetes is like a tyrant,
and today it demands she miss our talk of similes.
“He’s a gang member,”
Several teachers tell me at lunch.
“No,” I reply, “he’s a poet.”
Upon Listening to Snowy Woods
Holding Frost with both hands
as one would a robin’s egg,
she tips her head, dreaming.
but no bathrooms or boys today!
She sulks behind her book.
“Why finish high school?”
“I always fails anyway!” — he says
“Besides, what use is there in poetry?”
Quoting T.S. Elliot
“Dare I eat a peach?”
She squints. “What’s his problem?”
She challenges, still flooded by Katrina’s wrath.
“Do you like raspberries?”
“Let’s try to focus on the poem. Okay?”
“But I really want to know.”
Yes, he’s the star quarterback,
but he also crushes stereotypes
with the flex of his brain.
He and I share a mission:
we both strive to accommodate “normal” people
because, sadly, they often suffer from CDD — creativity deficit disorder.
Ode to Beckham
You don’t believe in magic?
Just mention David Beckham’s name
then watch as apathy disappears before your very eyes.
Although tall, she curls into her desk,
making herself small.
I pray for the power to show her that she is beautiful.
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is directed by Dr. Freddie A. Bowles
Assistant Professor of Foreign Language Education
in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction,
the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
Planet Gnosis is dedicated
to the exploration of education and teaching.
It is a cybersite of CornDancer.com
a developmental website for the Mind and Spirit.
Submissions are invited.